Summer by the Bowlful

Until something new debuts this weekend, here’s a dish I showed some of you a little while back – Cucumber-Cashew Soup.  As you would expect from  a creation featuring cucumbers, it’s served chilled, refreshing when August swelters.  If you’re reading this after Summer’s glory has passed, recall the warmth that inspired it.

You might not think cucumbers are substantive enough (I had doubts myself), but ground cashews and good olive oil contribute a richness that makes this a meal.  A light, dip-in-the-pool, perfect-for-summer meal.  Garlic and chives add a subtle zest that enlivens the soup while complimenting its coolness.

Dog days, meet your rival!

Thanks to Gourmet magazine, sadly now gone, where I originally found the recipe.


Cold Cucumber and Cubanelle Soup with Cashews and Chives

  • 3 large cucumbers, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks
  • 1 Cubanelle pepper, halved lengthwise and seeded
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup unsalted roasted cashews
  • 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • 1 large garlic clove, chopped
  • diced tomato, to garnish
  • chopped chives, to garnish

Puree in a blender the cucumber, half the pepper (reserve the other half to chop and add to the soup immediately before serving), water, oil, cashews, vinegar and garlic.  Add salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste.

Transfer mixture to a bowl and put in the refrigerator for about two hours, until thoroughly chilled.

Just before serving, finely chop the remaining half of the pepper and mix into the soup.  Ladle into individual servings and garnish with diced tomato and chopped chives.



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